United States of America


Founding member, 1928.

Women from around the Pacific gathered in August of 1928 for the first Pan Pacific Women’s Conference. National Chapters were quickly established, including one in the United States. Five members of PPSEAWA USA have been International Presidents, including Jane Addams of Hull House in Chicago, chairperson of the first Conference in 1928, Josephine Schain (1949-1955), National Director of the Girl Scouts of America, Grace Stuart Nutley (1975-78), Dr. Elizabeth-Louise Girardi (1994-2000), a noted malacologist with The Field Museum in Chicago, and Teresa Hintzke (2010-2016).

PPSEAWA International has a long association with both the League of Nations and the United Nations. As a result, many United Nations Representatives are members of PPSEAWA USA. After PPSEAWA was recognized for its work as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 1949 by the United Nations, and given consultative status in Category II in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), our national chapter grew rapidly. PPSEAWA also is accredited to the UN through ESCAP, UNICEF, and UNESCO. Our national representatives and youth representatives to the United Nations have been active in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) since its inception in 1946, a body instrumental in championing women’s rights.

The Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association USA (PPSEAWA USA) received separate accreditation in 2012, and is currently with the United Nations Department of Global Communications Civil Society Unit (UN DGC).

Although the Association convened many times in Honolulu (1928, 1934, and 1949), the first international conference on the mainland occurred in 1981. The 15th PPSEAWA International Conference was held from June 7-17, 1981, in New York; the actual business meeting was held at the Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, then the Conference moved to New York City where delegates were accommodated in the Fashion District but close to the United Nations, attending meetings that were in session. The theme was: “Education and Training Women.” PPSEAWA USA hosted international members for a Midterm Council Meeting in Chicago from September 1-4, 2014. In conjunction with this meeting, PPSEAWA held a Seminar on the “Human Trafficking of Women and Girls - Global Strategies for Improving Awareness and Advocacy” with the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University in Chicago on September 3, 2014, for over 150 participants. PPSEAWA USA was honored to host an important milestone in our organization’s history, our 90th Birthday Celebration! We welcomed our PPSEAWA sisters from Canada, Fiji, Hawaii, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand on March 16, 2018, in New York.

Today, local chapters of PPSEAWA USA can be found in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Members-at-large in other cities are accepted. Note that residents of Hawaii should visit the Hawaii Association page. Please contact the president for membership information.